UK weather: Butlin's resort closes and reports of 'mini tornado' as Met Office issues rain warning

A seaside holiday resort in Somerset has closed for four days after thunderstorms and heavy rain brought flooding to parts of England.

Yellow weather warnings for rain in Wales and northwest England have been issued by the Met Office for Tuesday and Wednesday as forecasters say at least four inches of rain could fall "quite widely".

Storms swept through many areas on Sunday and overnight, with the South West experiencing flash flooding which forced the closure of Exeter Airport - while residents in Littlehampton reported damage to homes and cars from a "mini tornado".

Butlin's in Minehead said it had made the "difficult decision" to close from Monday to Thursday after "exceptional rainfall" made the resort "unable" to provide the experience normally expected by its customers.

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In a statement, Butlin's said: "We've seen an exceptional amount of rainfall at our Minehead resort today, resulting in a number of our venues [including our pool, buffet restaurants and centre stage], as well as accommodation units closing.

"The team have been working hard to clear the affected areas, however, we're unable to give you the full Butlin's experience you'd expect from us.

"We understand how disappointing this will be for you and your family, we haven't taken this decision lightly and we are very sorry."

Residents in Littlehampton, West Sussex, reported damage to cars, trees and homes late on Sunday.

A Met Office spokesman said the conditions were "not completely unfavourable" for a "weak tornado" to have formed, reported The Argus.

"With this much wind shear, in the area of wind change, it is possible that some of this spin could have been stretched by the strong convective updraughts and formed a short-lived, weak tornado," they added.

But the spokesman noted although a mini tornado was possible, they had "no observational evidence to support this".

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Almost a month's rain fell on Sunday at the Birds Hill rain gauge on the edge of Exmoor.

Other spots saw up to 60mm of rain, more than half the September average for the region of 92.45mm.

Two flood warnings were in place on Monday afternoon, while there were also 10 active flood alerts, according to the Environment Agency.

More storms possible for UK

It comes as forecasters suggested more storms are possible as the remnants of Hurricane Lee, which hit New England in the US and eastern Canada, is set to move across the UK between Tuesday and Thursday.

It will no longer be a hurricane by the time it reaches UK shores, but Met Office meteorologist Jonathan Vautrey said: "It could be quite an unsettled, autumnal week to come."

Sky News meteorologist, Christopher England, also warned of flooding and difficult conditions in the days ahead.

He said: "After the torrential thundery downpours of the last day or so, there'll be a change to more autumnal conditions, with showers or longer spells of rain spreading from the west.

"The rain will be heaviest and most prolonged over some western hills in the next couple of days, mainly Wales and northwest England, with 100mm [four inches] of rain falling quite widely, and twice that in places.

"Expect difficult driving conditions at times, and some localised flooding."